Israel, UAE Plan Joint Moon Landing for 2024

Beresheet 1 crashed on the moon. Beresheet 2 lunar expedition part of larger agreement between the two countries to collaborate on space projects

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A Falcon 9 launching the Nusantara Satu satellite to orbit, carrying Israel's Beresheet spacecraft, two years ago.
A Falcon 9 launching the Nusantara Satu satellite to orbit, carrying Israel's Beresheet spacecraft, two years ago.Credit: SPACEX / AFP

Israel and the United Arab Emirates are slated to sign a bilateral agreement to collaborate on space projects. These are expected to include developing space technologies, satellites, and systems for research in outer space such as robotics, vehicles and optical systems.

The two countries will also collaborate on the upcoming Beresheet 2 lunar lander, whose launch is planned for 2024 and will cost around $100 million.

When it nears the moon, the craft will separate into an orbiter – designed to orbit the moon for several years – and two landers. The landers will each land in a different site and carry out various scientific experiments, including experiments on the lunar soil.

After entering orbit in 2019, the original Beresheet spacecraft lost its main engine and went into an uncontrolled descent before it crashed.

The agreement will be signed at the Dubai Expo by Science, Technology and Space Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen, and the UAE's Minister of Advanced Technologies, Sara El Amiri.

This March 3, 2019 photo made available by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries shows the Beresheet spacecraft with the Earth in the background.Credit: SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries / AP

Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem will also cooperate on studying climatic phenomena using the Israeli-French Venus satellite. The satellite, a joint venture between the Israel Space Agency and its French counterpart, aims to detect changes stemming from climate change in vegetation, soil, beaches, inland water and the atmosphere.

The Abraham Accords, a normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE and Bahrain, was signed at the White House in September 2020.

Sudan and Morocco also later joined the accords, which include cooperation on a variety of civilian matters, and the mutual opening of diplomatic delegations.

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